Morocco is known for it’s Jewish Heritage and the abundance of rich culture, artifacts and traditions left behind when the Jews fled Morocco in the 1960’s. What remains is a rich catalog of Jewish life inclusive of architecture, monuments, zaouias, museums, mellahs, shrines and craft traditions that command great cultural significance. The collective history of Jews in Morocco is one that has a connective thread with the Berbers and Moroccan Arabs, dating back to the Spanish inquisition.
Morocco’s Museum of Moroccan Judaism (Jewish Museum) located in Casablanca is the keeper of some of this prized history.
The Jewish Museum has an active roster of exhibitions, a permenant collection and Jewish library which make it an important part of Moroccan history available to Morocco travelers and Jewish travelers interested in understanding Morocco’s Jewish past. Moroccan Jewish Heritage sites are well appointed in the Imperial Cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Coastal Essaouira making them key cities to visit when touring Morocco. The synagogues, mellahs and cemeteries in Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira in particular hold a special place in the hearts of many Moroccan Jews throughout the world. These cities and their Jewish mellahs are the former birth place of their ancestors.
Many Jews that currently living in Israel, Canada and the United States are originally Moroccan by birth, and return on vacation to visit Jewish Heritage sites or as an homage to revisit their past home. Moroccan Jews traveling to Morocco often visit shrines or places they or their family once lived. Given the Museum of Moroccan JudaismCasablanca (Jewish Museum) is the only Jewish Museum in the Muslim world, those interested in exploring Morocco’s Jewish Heritage should not miss a tour of its private collection.
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca was created by the foundation of Judeo-Moroccan Cultural Heritage in 1995 and opened its doors in 1997. The creation of a Jewish Museum in Casablanca attests to the plural identity of Morocco, a country revered for its tolerance, symbiosis and of harmonious coexistence between the Jewish and Muslim communities of the Moroccan people.
The Museum of the Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is the only Jewish Museum in North Africa and the Middle East.
Its permanent collection, constantly enriched by new acquisitions, renders a few parts of the daily life of Moroccan Jews of different regions. The museum demonstrates the remarkable Jewish community and their high level of strata, wisdom and knowledge. The Jewish Museum houses, scriptures, objects of worship, tools of arts and crafts, old books and a history of the traditional costumes worn. These Jewish artifacts illuminate to Moroccan travelers how Jews lived. The artificats also show the connective cultural traditions between Jewish Moroccans and the Berbers. Many of the items featured in the Jewish Museum’s jewelry and craft collection are tribal. Travelers will find similar tribal pieces in the Majorelle Gardens, Berber Museum.
About The Museum of Moroccan Judiasm in Casablanca:
The Museum of Moroccan Judaism of Casablanca is a museum of history and ethnography, created by the Jewish Community of Casablanca in 1997 with the support of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca is in a residential neighborhood called Oasis and holds a treasure trove with it being the Arab region’s only Jewish Museum. It uses world-class standards of conservation for its national and international collections. The Museum of Moroccan Judaism presents religious, ethnographic and artistic objects that demonstrate the history, religion, traditions and daily life of Jews in the context of Moroccan civilization. The Director of the Jewish Museum is Zhor Rehihil, a Muslim woman, who has a PhD in Jewish Studies.
The Jewish Museum in Casablanca covers an area of 700 square meters, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of:
► A large multipurpose room, used for exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture
► Three other rooms, with windows containing exhibits on religious and family life (oil lamps, Torahs, Chanukah lamps, clothing, marriage contracts (ketubot) Torah covers… and exhibits on work life;
► Two rooms displaying complete Moroccan synagogues;
► A document library, a video library and a photo library.
► The Museum offers guided visits, sponsors seminars and conferences on Jewish-Moroccan history and culture, and organizes video and slide presentations. On special request, it organizes group visits in Arabic, French, English or Spanish.
The collection of Museum of the Moroccan Judaism consists of Morocccan Judaica which consists of cultual objects and objects of worship of Moroccan tradition.
The collection was culled from donations and research:
– Traditional Seating Area of old Synagogues
– Circumcision Chairs
– Moroccan Hannukkah, Menoarah Lamps
– Tora Orgnaments & Torah Covers
– covers of the Thora
– Jewish Cemetery Tombstones
– Jewih Prayer Books
– Ceremonial Bar-Mitvah objects
Moroccan Museum of Judaism (Jewish Musuem):
Jewish Museum Address & Contact:
Address: 81, Rue Chasseur Jules Gros, Oasis-Casablanca
Jewish Museum Casablanca, Opening Hours to the Public:
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm/ 6:00pm
Saturday – Closed for Shabbat
Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm